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10 Picture Books That Teach About Empathy and Kindness

One of the best gifts we can give our young children is to spend time reading with them each day. There are so many wonderful picture books that open up new worlds for our kiddos, teach valuable lessons, and help them form a love of reading from an early age. One of my biggest hopes as a parent is to raise kids who are empathetic and kind. Here are 10 pictures books that gently teach lessons about empathy and kindness.

Last Stop on Market Street

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In this picture book written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson, a young boy spends the day with his grandmother and learns the value of seeing the beauty in all things and the importance of volunteering in his community.

Be Kind

Written by Pat Zietlow and illustrated by Jen Hill, this sweet picture book is about a little girl figuring out ways to spread kindness in the world.

Enemy Pie

This humorous story is written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara King. It follows a little boy as he realizes his “enemy” might just turn into his new best friend.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

This picture book was written by Philip E. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. In this story, an old man and his animal friends show that when you are kind to others, kindness will be returned to you.  

The Monster Who Lost His Mean

This funny and sweet picture book was written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmonds. Monster loses his M and doesn’t know how to be mean anymore. At first, he feels a little lost without his M. He soon realizes that by losing his M, he gained a whole bunch of new friends.

teach your kids about empathy and kindness

The Rabbit Listened

Written and illustrated by Cory Doerrfeld, this sweet book shows how important it is to lend a listening ear instead of trying to “fix” a friend’s problem.  

Hey Little Ant

This picture book was written by Phillip and Hannah Hoose and illustrated by Debbie Tilley. It is told through a conversation between an ant and the young boy about ready to squish him. The young boy learns that he and the ant actually have a lot more in common than he thought. Maybe squishing the ant isn’t such a good idea after all!

Come With Me

Written by Holly M. McGhee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre, a little girl explores how she can make a difference in the world by the interactions she has with her own community.  

The Little Blue Truck

In this popular book written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, Little Blue Truck’s animal friends save the day when Little Blue and a grumpy dump truck both end up stuck in the mud.

I am Human: A Book of Empathy

Written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, this book shows that even though we are human and make mistakes, we can all choose kindness and make the world a better place through our actions.

Those Shoes

In this sweet story written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, a young boy  learns what it means to help out a friend in need, even when you don’t have much yourself.

I hope you enjoy reading through these picture books with your own kiddos! Have fun while you teach about empathy and kindness!

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